Psycho Suzi’s – Minneapolis, MN

*Editor’s note: This is the old location. Check out my review of the new Psycho Suzi’s here.

I knew that other tiki sighting in Minnesota would not be the last as I had penciled in a visit to Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge for when we headed back into the Twin Cities for our return flight.

Psycho Suzi’s opened in 2003, but with its wood paneling, string lights and what looks like somebody’s personal stash of tiki mugs lining the walls, it reminds me of a circa-1970s rec room. Tiki purists need not fret, though, as there’s plenty of bamboo, fish floats and framed Exotica album covers scattered around, too.

Emblazoned on their logo t-shirts and behind the bar is the epithet for Don the Beachcomber’s most famous drink, The Zombie: “Mender of Broken Dreams.” Supposedly the scene gets more rowdy as the night wears on, but we were there for lunch on a beautiful day when most of the patrons chose to sit under thatch umbrellas out on the patio with the moais.

Psycho Suzi’s offers about a half dozen generic tiki mugs that can be purchased upon ordering their coordinating cocktails, but this terrifying fellow is their special signature vessel from Tiki Farm. It contains “a 20 oz. delirium of Redrum, secret syrup and a whole lime.” For another $7, the mug becomes a souvenir!

Whereas the fare at many tiki establishments skews toward highbrow (er, expensive, anyway) Chinese/Polynesian, the food here is unabashedly lowbrow American (but more importantly, tasty). We loved the beer-battered Wisconsin cheese curds ($8) and bacon-wrapped cocktail weenies with bourbon-brown sugar glaze ($7.50).

There’s a selection of salads and sandwiches, but their specialty is “World Famous Minneapolis Pizza” (hardy har). We ordered their deep dish cheese pie ($13) and judged it to be a good effort, considering that we (well, Mr. Hockey at least) are Chicago pizza snobs.

This “Motor Lounge” (the restaurant was converted from an A&W Drive-In with car hops and everything! I’m such a nerd for that stuff) was featured on an episode of that Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.” You can see the YouTube clip here.

However, in November, Psycho Suzi’s is moving to a riverfront location just six blocks away. According to the Star Tribune, it’s four times larger than their current space. (I hope they’ll be taking these awesome atomic lamps with them.)

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
2519 Marshall St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge on Urbanspoon


Tiki in the Wilds of Minnesota

Minnesoda Ice Cream Fountain vintage sign

I love vintage signs, and I love puns, so of course I adored this Minnesoda Ice Cream Fountain we stumbled upon over the summer on our trip to the lake. (I caught a fish, remember?)

Old Liberty Shoppe in Park Rapids, Minnesota

The Main Street of Park Rapids (four hours or so north of Minneapolis) has a bunch of neat, old-school marquees like that, but it was the retro window dressing that drew me in to the Old Liberty Shoppe.

Dream cabin in the woods

The bottom floor was decorated with classic Americana (patriotic bunting, and everything), while upstairs was furnished like your dream rustic cabin in the woods.

Retro metal signs

And so this was one of the last places I expected to find something tiki, but among the usual ribald, retro-style signs, I found this! (Thankfully this wasn’t the only tiki to be found in Minnesota, more to come.)

The Tiki Hut sign